A former U.S. Secret Service dog who was injured while protecting the president from an intruder in 2014 will be honored by a leading United Kingdom veterinary charity, the first foreign animal to win the award.
Hurricane, a Belgian Malinois trained as part of the agency’s emergency response team, was on duty with his handler Officer Marshall Mirarchi, Oct. 22, 2014, when an intruder hopped a fence and started running across the White House lawn.
Mirarchi saw an initial responding canine team fail to stop the intruder and sent Hurricane into action.
Hurricane was kicked, punched and hurled through the air by the suspect, but he continued to maintain a grip and take down the intruder.
Hurricane was injured but continued working until he retired for health reasons in 2016. He was adopted by Mirarchi.
"Hurricane was such a legend within the Service. He loved working and his talent for the job impressed me every single day," Mirarchi said in a statement. "That night, he stepped up and delivered under circumstances that no amount of training could prepare him for. I have never witnessed such violence toward a dog before, but it didn't stop him from doing his job."
For his efforts, he will be formally awarded the Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals Order of Merit at a ceremony in London in October.
"He had an outstanding career with the US Secret Service and went above and beyond the call of duty when an intruder tried to gain access to the White House," PDSA Director General, Jan McLoughlin, said in a statement. "Despite suffering a ferocious assault he never faltered from his duty."
Thirty other animals have received this award since its inception in 2014.
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